More than 8000 motorists in South Australia have been snapped by new cameras using their mobile phones illegally, but they won’t receive fines.

    A total of 8603 ‘potential offences’ were detected by the state’s new mobile phone detection cameras between June 19, when they went online, and June 25.

    This represents about 0.83 per cent of the circa-1.04 million road users who passed through the five camera locations.

    A total of 6397 warning letters have so far been issued by South Australia Police, as approximately two days of processing takes place before law enforcement officers review the images to determine whether they had correctly picked up motorists doing the wrong thing.

    However, these motorists have been lucky to avoid punishment, as a three-month ‘grace period’ is in force until September 19, from which time there will be monetary and demerit point penalties issued for the relevant offences.

    From September 19 onwards, those detected using their mobile phones while driving will be slugged with a $658 fine (which includes a $102 Victims of Crime levy) and three demerit points.

    South Australia’s mobile phone detection cameras are marked with signage, providing motorists with warnings about the impending detection point.

    They are forming a part of a $15.9 million South Australian Government investment towards the reduction of road trauma caused by distracted driving.

    Prior to the first week of operation, a testing period for the detection cameras found about one per cent of motorists were using their mobile phones while driving, with 71,044 incidents detected from 6,794,050 passing vehicles.

    The cameras are active in the following locations:

    • South Road, Torrensville
    • North South Motorway, Regency Park
    • Port Wakefield Road, Gepps Cross
    • Southern Express, Darlington
    • Port Road, Hindmarsh

    An additional two cameras in as-yet unspecified locations are being considered, with these cameras expected to be installed in early 2025.

    Almost all Australian states and territories use either fixed or moveable mobile phone detection cameras, with manual reviews – where a trained person carefully checks each offence registered – becoming common practice.

    However, as previously reported, there are instances where false offences slip through the cracks, though most jurisdictions allow motorists to have their fines reviewed.

    MORE: Which Australian states and territories use mobile phone cameras?
    MORE: How did AI and humans get this mobile phone fine so wrong?
    MORE: Are speed, mobile phone cameras finally changing behaviour?

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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